PEP GUARDIOLA has warned Manchester City they must keep their heads and produce an “almost perfect” performance to end their Barcelona hoodoo on Tuesday.
Manchester City have had four players sent off in five successive Champions League defeats against the Spanish club, including Claudio Bravo’s dismissal in the 4-0 defeat in the Nou Camp a fortnight ago.
Pep Guardiola says it is imperative City keep all 11 players on the field in the vital Group C game at the Etihad Stadium if they are to stand any chance of victory.Pep-Guardiola-727278.jpg
“You have to learn from your mistakes,” he said. “It’s always difficult to win Champions League games, and it’s always difficult against Barcelona 11 v 11. So when it’s 10 v 11 it’s almost impossible.
“At this level it’s impossible to achieve your targets if you don’t keep your discipline. Football is a game of mistakes. We have to play almost perfectly to win.”Gael-Clichy-sent-off-for-Manchester-City-703983.jpg
“At this level it’s impossible to achieve your targets if you don’t keep your discipline. Football is a game of mistakes. We have to play almost perfectly to win.”
City’s hopes have been boosted because Barcelona will be without Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba (all injured) and Jeremy Mathieu (suspended).
They will also draw confidence from their return to winning form at West Brom, where Sergio Aguero, controversially left out in the Nou Camp a fortnight ago, served a reminder of his quality with two outstanding finishes.
Even so Guardiola admits City are going to have to play out of their skins.
He said: “I have never entered a match thinking we can’t win but we have to play almost perfectly to win.
“It’s not a final for them but we have to play as if it is a final for us. We need to win two games form three in the group now – or at least get a draw and a win.”